Rigatoni with ricotta and fiery roast tomatoes recipe

Take your tastebuds on a trip to Italy with this simple recipe inspired by the Aeolian Islands. Amber Guiness’ rigatoni with ricotta and fiery roast tomatoes is the pasta you’ve been waiting for.

This pasta is inspired by the volcanic island of Stromboli in the Aeolian Islands and its fiery, unpredictable nature.

Stromboli is the most active volcano in Europe and gently bubbles away most evenings.

You can hike up to the crater to watch the lava flow and, on a clear day, see its gentle eruptions from Salina.

I love this dish as it delivers on flavour and deliciousness with minimal effort.

All that’s required is putting a dish of tomatoes in the oven, followed by the ricotta, cooking the pasta and uniting the two in the baking dish.

I like to think of it as an ode to Stromboli through spice and domed ricotta.

Recipe: Amber Guinness’ rigatoni with ricotta and fiery roast tomatoes recipe


600 g cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters

1 small red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

1/4 teaspoon chilli flakes

75 ml olive oil sea salt

250 g ricotta, drained

500 g rigatoni

75 g parmesan, finely grated

handful of basil leaves

Serves 5


Step 1.

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) fan-forced.

Step 2.

Put the cherry tomatoes in a large baking dish (I use one attractive enough to serve from).

Add the chopped chilli, chilli flakes, half the olive oil and a couple of generous pinches of salt and toss to combine. Roast for 15 minutes.

Step 3.

Remove the tomatoes from the oven – by now they should have started to steam and collapse.

Use a spoon to make a space in the centre and nestle the ricotta into the mixture, wide base downwards so that it looks like a little volcano.

Spoon some of the cooking juices over the ricotta, along with another drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt.

Return to the oven and roast for another 15 minutes.

Step 4.

Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil.

Add the rigatoni, give it a good stir so that it doesn’t stick together, and cook until al dente (about 12–13 minutes, but check the packet instructions).

Drain, reserving half a mugful of the pasta water in case it’s needed.

Step 5.

Remove the tomatoes and ricotta from the oven. Add the drained rigatoni, parmesan, basil and remaining olive oil and gently toss to combine, with a splash of pasta water if needed.

Take the dish to the table and serve immediately.

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Italian Coastal by Amber Guiness This is an edited extract from Italian Coastal by Amber Guinness, published by Thames & Hudson Australia, RRP $60.00.